BRK 6981 Hermit of Mink Hollow
Produced by Todd Rundgren
Released on April 1978
US CHART POSITION #36 . . . UK CHART POSITION #42
Find it at GEMM
BRK 6981 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

H ermit of Mink Hollow is Rundgren’s first DIY album since the landmark Something/Anything? It’s a good record, again with Todd taking pains to make sure it’s not a great one by dividing the album into an “easy” side and a “difficult” side. Listening to the first two tracks (“All The Children Sing,” “Can We Still Be Friends”), I’m reminded of how good a songwriter Todd can be. Conversely, the first two tracks on side two (“Bread,” “Bag Lady”) are exhibits Y and Z in the Todd Rundgren Museum of Melancholia. No one expects Rundgren to be happy all the time (and in the wake of his breakup with Bebe Buell, even occasional happiness is welcome), but appropriating the misfortune of others when you’ve got your own albatross to sing about is just begging for trouble. His own personal well of sadness yields better results: “Lucky Guy” and “Hurting For You.” The rest of the record is fleshed out with typical Toddyisms: the funny novelty song (“Onomatopoeia”), the caustic retro-rocker (“You Cried Wolf”) and the frenetic Utopia soundalike (“Out of Control”). There’s even a nod to the classic “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” with “Determination.” Which is all to say that Hermit of Mink Hollow adds some new members to the family but doesn’t expand on the house of Todd one square inch. The production is good, the arrangements no worse for Todd juggling all the instruments of a full-time band, and the identical run times for each side (17:25) an indication that he was looking to strike an artistic balance here. The more you listen to Hermit, the more you’ll like it. Some have gone so far as to rank it with his best work, which probably means they’ve listened to it more than Faithful or Utopia’s Oops! Wrong Planet (any one of which could win you over after enough spins).

BRK 6981 back cover BRK 6981 lyric sleeve
BRK 6981 back cover BRK 6981 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

    "The Easy Side"
  1. ALL THE CHILDREN SING    3:08
  2. CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS    3:34
  3. HURTING FOR YOU    3:20
  4. TOO FAR GONE    2:38
  5. ONOMATOPOEIA    1:34
  6. DETERMINATION    3:11

    "The Difficult Side"
  7. BREAD    2:48
  8. BAG LADY    3:13
  9. YOU CRIED WOLF    2:20
  10. LUCKY GUY    2:04
  11. OUT OF CONTROL    3:56
  12. FADE AWAY    3:04

    All songs written and arranged by Todd Rundgren

CREDITS

TODD RUNDGREN -- all vocals and instruments
Mike Young -- additional engineering
Daniel McCauley -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN April 1978 Bearsville LP/CS/8T BRK/M5W/BEAM8 6981 lyric sleeve
UK April 1978 Bearsville LP/CS K 55521 lyric sleeve
JPN 1978 Bearsville LP P-10481W lyric insert
NET 1978 Bearsville LP BEA55521  
US May/June 1993 Rhino LP/CD/CS RNLP 70871 virgin vinyl
GER   Bearsville CD BRKCD6981  
JPN   Bearsville CD VICP-60264 digital remaster

 

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